Traditionally, when you think “legal jobs,” one envisions men and women in power suits bustling about in an office with shelves full of law books. But recently, there has been more work from home legal jobs available for people who need or want to work in the legal field but want more flexibility in their work life.
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The legal profession often requires daily face-to-face communications, negotiations, and transactions.
But times are changing, and many law firms have been looking to cut costs and increase efficiency by being more open to more flexible working arrangements, allowing legal professionals to come in as little as once or twice a week or even not at all.
Today, let’s look at the work from home legal jobs available for lawyers and other legal professionals can apply for.
14 Types of Work From Home Legal Jobs
1. Virtual Lawyer
By definition, a lawyer is someone who has finished training in the field of law and passed the bar exams who provides advice on legal matters.
As a lawyer working for a firm, you’ve probably worked from home, from a coffee house, or from everywhere else to juggle your workload.
When you switch to work from home legal jobs, the tasks you did as a lawyer in your traditional 9-to-5 job remain, and you can continue practicing your specialization.
The only difference is that you’ll have total control over where you meet clients. It can be through video-conferencing, a nearby restaurant, or even your home office.
2. Contractual Attorney or Trial Consultant
An attorney (or attorney-at-law) is a lawyer who is qualified and licensed to represent clients in court. Although it is used interchangeably with the term “lawyer” in the US, we’ll adhere to the definition of the term “attorney” to differentiate the tasks.
When law firms suffer from work backlog, they hire contractual attorneys to help meet deadlines, even if it means they do the job from home.
With technological advancements that let attorneys meet with clients, attend litigation remotely, and negotiate on behalf of clients with video-conferencing tools and cloud-sharing apps, working from home as an attorney is quite possible.
As an attorney-at-law with court experience, you can also work as a behind-the-scenes trial consultant for other legal professionals. Since you’re not required to show up in court, your job can be completely performed from home.
3. Virtual Paralegal
Paralegals provide support to attorneys whenever they are swamped with caseloads. As a virtual paralegal, you perform the same tasks, except that you correspond with attorneys and clients via e-mails, phone calls, video calls, and other similar ways.
Virtual paralegals can handle various tasks, from drafting documents to filling forms, helping with research, and other tasks that are allowed within the bounds of their role.
Since paralegals are not lawyers and have not passed the bar, their work often goes through a practicing lawyer. The upside to this is that paralegals often take up an unofficial “specialization”, such as immigration law, human rights, and so on since they focus on the same specialization as the lawyer they work for.
4. Legal Researcher
Generally speaking, a person who works in legal research is someone dedicated to learning everything they can about the cases they’re currently working on. The more information they gather, the higher their chances of helping the team win a case.
The bulk of the work of legal researchers happens weeks before the actual litigation process in the courtroom. Legal research is what helps attorneys tie evidence presented to past cases and existing laws.
If you’re interested in this kind of home-based legal job, feel free to check what I’ve written about making money as a courthouse researcher in the past.
5. Legal Writers
If you have a background in law and you have a knack for writing, you’ve got a pretty in-demand set of skills right there.
You can draft briefs, write motions and memos, and handle every kind of document a law firm needs, regardless of case type or specialization. You can also edit legal documents, or analyze long documents and write summaries.
Outside the traditional law industry, you can also blog about law, write a legal e-book, and other types of publications.
6. Legal Sales Executive
If you’ve found success in a sales position before, having the additional legal knowledge helps you land a very specific profession: legal sales executive.
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This role is responsible for selling products or services that legal professionals may need in their day-to-day jobs.
This can be anything from a subscription from Bloomberg Law to Westlaw’s online legal research platform.
Since you know how to communicate with lawyers and other professionals in the law industry, you’d be able to use your communication and persuasion skills more effectively and hopefully land a sale.
7. Legal Recruiter
Much like the job of an online recruiter or headhunter, a legal recruiter finds “talent” needed by law firms, courthouses, and private companies looking for specific professionals.
A legal recruiter needs to have a strong background in law as well as extensive experience in human resources. They can work from home as a solo headhunter, or become a contractor to a headhunting company. The choice will be up to you.
8. Legal Transcriptionist/Transcriber, Interpreter, or Translator
Legal professionals don’t need to look too far when it comes to their work-from-home job of choice.
As legal transcriptionists, translators, and interpreters, their job is to transcribe, translate, or interpret legal documents for law firms, law offices, and other professionals in the law industry.
Although these work from home legal jobs are three separate types of jobs, I lumped them together because their requirements are similar: a firm grasp of legal jargon, knowledge of citations, fast typing speed, writing and proofreading skills, and so on.
Of course, you need to be familiar with the language you’re trying to translate, or the deep legal terms you’re trying to interpret.
9. E-Discovery Professional
E-discovery (shortcut for electronic discovery) is a billion-dollar industry wherein people with legal backgrounds collect and process documents and evidence from lawsuits and criminal cases in the hopes of preserving them as electronically stored information (ESI) for future research.
E-discovery professionals can work from home as freelancers.
If you’re lucky to land a contract for a local law firm or something similar, you can even build your own e-discovery firm from scratch.
And with ESI becoming the norm in the law industry, there’s good money and a positive outlook in this line of work.
10. Legal Nurse Consultant
This is a very specific job since you’d have to be familiar with medicine jargon (much better if you have nursing experience) and also know the ins and outs of the legal system.
This skill set enables legal nurse consultants to provide guidance to attorneys involved in medical-related cases.
Lawyers are amazing at mediating since they can easily find all angles to a story, assess the situation, and settle legal disputes outside of the courtroom.
Private companies, individuals, and other kinds of institutions may hire mediators as contractors on an as-needed basis. With the right set of tools, this job can be performed from home or anywhere around the world.
12. In-House Counsel
Medium to large companies need in-house counsel to oversee legal aspects and provide solid legal advice to management with the main purpose of protecting the company’s legal rights.
Most of the duties of an in-house counsel can be done remotely, as long as you have an open line of communication via email, phone, and video conferencing.
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13. Document Reviewer
Document review, known as “doc review” among law students and interns involves sifting through hundreds of thousands to millions of documents that need to be read and tagged for relevance to a particular lawsuit.
Out of all the other work from home legal jobs in this list, document reviewer is probably the dullest, most tedious, and least appealing one.
But it’s a good way to earn while getting your foot in the door in a law firm that you want to work for in a different capacity.
14. Compliance Officer/Specialist
Compliance refers to strict adherence to laws, policies, and regulations set by external entities, such as government agencies and independent organizations. Some of the industries that offer compliance jobs include the financial, healthcare, and telecommunications industries.
Companies prefer to hire lawyers as compliance officers because they’re adept at maneuvering legal intricacies of regulations as well as identifying, addressing, and avoiding compliance risks.
Where to Find Virtual Legal Jobs
Here are also job boards specific to the legal profession where you can start the search:
Transitioning from Office to Work from Home Legal Jobs
Transitioning from a traditional office job to a remote job is never easy, regardless of your field of industry or occupation.
But there are a couple of tips to make the transition to doing work from home legal jobs a bit easier.
First, update your LinkedIn profile.
You should be doing this anyway, whether you’re working from home or working in a traditional office setting, but this becomes even more significant for those who are applying for remote legal jobs.
The first thing prospective employers do is to search for your name on the internet and judge from that whether they’ll entertain your application and advance to the next step.
Make sure what they see on your LinkedIn is updated information that plays to your strengths and why you would be perfect for the position you’re applying for.
Second, hone and showcase your technical competence.
When you’re working through telecommute, your technical knowledge is crucial to the performance of your duties.
So when applying for legal jobs, you’ll need to show that you’re comfortable using current legal technology tools, especially data privacy and protection technology.
The less training you need, the more attractive you are to hiring managers and employers.
Finally, remain presentable.
The compulsion to work in PJs and stay in bed all day is strong, but being a legal professional means you’ll need to talk to clients and coworkers, and you’ll need to look your best.
Start your workday like you’re going into an office: shower, do your makeup and hair, wear smart casual clothes (or tops, at the very least), and have your nice coat or jacket handy for those impromptu video conferences or coffee shop meetings.
If you’re ready to transition from office to work from home jobs, or simply want to work from home while putting your legal knowledge to good use, hopefully one of the choices we’ve listed resonate with you and inspire you.
On the other hand, if you’re not picky and don’t mind getting a career that’s not related to the law, here’s a massive list of work from home jobs.
Which of these legal jobs are you interested in applying to? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!